With the beginning of April comes the beginning of the long, but gorgeous and glorious Major League Baseball regular season. In you can’t get enough of the action on the sun-drenched diamond, then this has to be your favorite time of year.
The season officially began on Sunday, as the Houston Astros defeated the Texas Rangers 8-2 to get the 2013 campaign underway, but with 24 of the league’s teams stepping on the field today, Opening Day has successfully launched the 2013 MLB regular season. The Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Cardinals, Reds and the defending World Series champion Giants are among the teams to throw out their first pitches of the year today.
After an incredible 2012 postseason run, the Giants will begin their title defense against their bitter divisional rivals – the Los Angeles Dodgers. Other old rivalries will be renewed today too, as the Red Sox visit the Yankees and the Phillies battle the improved Braves.
The Giants certainly still have all the tools to win it all again, but the offseason was full of big moves that helped other squads beef up. The most notably improved team (at least on paper) is the Toronto Blue Jays, who increased their playoff odds in one of the toughest divisions by acquiring last year’s NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and superstar stud Melky Cabrera from the defending champs. Although the Jays won’t begin their season until Tuesday, it will certainly be interesting to see how they get out of the gate.
Of course, baseball is known for its long 162-game season, so even teams that stumble a bit in April, still have a good chance to play in October if they find the winning consistency during the summer.
Regardless of who wins or loses on Opening Day, the fact that baseball is back makes MLB fans the real winners. So, to all the MLB fans out there: Enjoy juicy hot dogs, crackerjacks, seventh-inning stretches and America’s pastime all summer long, and be sure to root, root, root for your home team this season!